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Barden v. Commonwealth

Court of Appeals of Virginia

May 12, 2015

KENNETH LEE BARDEN
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF LOUDOUN COUNTY. Burke F. McCahill, Judge.

Reversed.

Bonnie H. Hoffman, Deputy Public Defender (Office of the Public Defender, on briefs), for appellant.

Kathleen B. Martin, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Mark R. Herring, Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.

Present: Judges Alston, Chafin and O'Brien.

OPINION

Page 700

[64 Va.App. 702] ROSSIE D. ALSTON, JR., JUDGE

Kenneth Barden (" appellant" ) appeals his conviction of driving under a suspended or revoked license, in violation of Code § 46.2-301, because the evidence adduced at trial failed to establish that his driver's license was suspended or revoked at the time he was operating a motor vehicle. For the reasons expressed below, we agree and reverse appellant's conviction under Code § 46.2-301(B).

BACKGROUND

The facts in this matter are not in dispute. On November 6, 2013, appellant was driving in Loudoun County when he was stopped by Officer Clark McDaniel. During the course of the stop, Officer McDaniel used the computer in his patrol car to access appellant's Department of Motor Vehicles (" DMV" ) record, which listed appellant's driver's license status as " revoked." When asked whether he possessed a driver's license, appellant responded that he did not. Appellant was arrested and subsequently charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, in violation of Code § 46.2-301(B).[1]

At appellant's bench trial, the Commonwealth introduced appellant's DMV record as an exhibit. The transcript reflects that on

Page 701

February 15, 2008, appellant was convicted of driving while intoxicated, a first offense, and that the trial court suspended his driver's license for a period of twelve months. [64 Va.App. 703] Shortly thereafter, upon receipt of appellant's conviction order, the Commissioner of the DMV, pursuant to Code § 46.2-389,[2] revoked appellant's license for a term ending on February 8, 2009.

According to his transcript, appellant was again convicted of driving while intoxicated on February 25, 2008. As before, the trial court suspended appellant's license for twelve months, and the Commissioner revoked appellant's license upon receipt of appellant's conviction order. Appellant's ...


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